CARTHAGE, MO--(Marketwired - May 6, 2013) - Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) today announced the findings of a new mattress study evaluating the performance of memory foam vs. Ultimate Hybrid (mattresses made with Leggett & Platt's Comfort Core™ fabric-encased innerspring technology paired with elements of foam, gel or latex) showed consumer preference for the Ultimate Hybrid Mattress™ for both sleep and intimacy. The research also uncovered consumer issues regarding intimacy on memory foam mattresses.
The research, titled SexySleep™, reveals problems that memory foam mattress owners face during intimacy, describing the experience as being "stuck in quicksand," "uncomfortable," "difficult" and even "horrible." The study also indicates many memory foam owners are intimate less frequently, and even resort to having sex at other household locations away from their mattress.
Data shows most consumers buying mattresses do not evaluate them for intimacy, instead focusing only on sleeping comfort and support. This includes those who've encountered intimacy issues with memory foam, but thought their difficulties were their own fault or just an anomaly.
"We believe the findings perfectly mirror a lack of awareness about the mattress physics necessary for comfort, support and the energy giveback needed for both intimate experiences and total restful sleep," said Mark Quinn, Segment VP Marketing, Leggett & Platt. "Since we don't advertise the merits of our latest innerspring technology, most people aren't aware of everything they should be considering when mattress shopping until it's too late. Performance for intimacy isn't a topic mattress retailers have been comfortable introducing to their customers."
Consumer Reports' most recent mattress testing, which is featured in the May 2013 issue, reports, "about 40% of buyers had regrets about their purchases... Things they would do differently include buying another mattress type, spending more time trying models, and doing more research." Consumer Reports also recommends, "You can do better than foam," and ranks the top three innerspring mattresses above the best memory foam mattress, finding "three memory foam models could make changing positions a challenge." An Ultimate Hybrid Mattress, made by Serta, was given a "Best Buy" rating in the report.
Michael Magnuson, founder and CEO of GoodBed.com, an independent mattress guide for consumers, says, "The bottom line is, mattress shoppers are very confused about choosing the right mattress for their needs. There are certainly a large percentage of people for whom a hybrid mattress would be a great match, but currently very few of these people know they should be looking for one."
A 2012 consumer survey by Furniture/Today and Apartment Therapy reflected the growing popularity of hybrids. "Consumers are thrilled with their hybrid beds," said David Perry, Executive Editor and Mattress Expert, Furniture/Today. "Hybrids had a higher satisfaction score than any other type of sleep set."
A May 2012 Barron's article titled "Sex or Sleep?" was the catalyst for the research. The article cited confessions and complaints from memory foam owners about intimacy on their mattresses. New York sex therapist Sari Eckler Cooper was also quoted: "There's a lack of resistance for the knees and feet. And whoever is on the bottom is sinking into the bed."
"The Barron's article identified a problem, but didn't have a solution for consumers, only a choice of either memory foam for good sleep or 'traditional' innersprings for good sex," says Quinn. "Sleep is critical for good health and should never be compromised. The great news is, consumers don't have to pick. We think the data shows Ultimate Hybrid Mattresses offer a complete sex-and-sleep bedroom solution."
"Comfort Core fabric-encased innersprings are our latest advancement in coil technology and can be found within every Ultimate Hybrid Mattress," said Dr. Caleb Browning, a physicist at Leggett & Platt's research and development facility, the IDEA Center. "Comfort Core innersprings are individually wrapped and guard against motion disturbance from your partner during sleep, but still provide a critical return of bounce during intimacy. Whereas memory foam really sinks the body and absorbs energy, which makes any movement like changing positions difficult. Memory foam consumes you, rather than working and moving with you like innersprings."
The SexySleep research was commissioned by Leggett & Platt and conducted in Las Vegas by independent research group POCO Labs (random sample, n=255 U.S. men and woman 21+). Consumers were asked to evaluate the performance of the two unidentified mattresses after sitting, bouncing, laying, crawling, rolling and even jumping on them. A qualitative component of the research included more than 130 brief discussions upon completion of the quantitative survey in addition to more than 50 in-depth interviews with owners of -- or those who had experienced intimacy on -- memory foam mattresses.
An overview of the SexySleep findings will be shared with top bedding industry leaders at the Furniture/Today Bedding conference May 8 in Chandler, Arizona. May is also Better Sleep Month.
The Ultimate Hybrid Mattress™
At the "core" of every Ultimate Hybrid is Leggett & Platt's Comfort Core fabric-encased coil technology, which sets the Ultimate Hybrid apart from any other hybrid-style mattress. Comfort Core is paired with the latest innovations in specialty sleep materials for a best-of-class hybrid that offers the favorable aspects and benefits of foam, gel or latex, without the downside found in mattresses predominantly made of those materials.
Designed to provide unprecedented comfort and support, Ultimate Hybrids are offered by many of the world's leading mattress brands in a variety of styles and price ranges at mattress retailers all over the country.
Leggett & Platt, a leading diversified U.S. manufacturer (and S&P 500 member) that conceives, designs and produces a broad variety of engineered components and products available around the globe in top home, office, automotive, and other market sector brands. The Leggett & Platt IDEA Center is one of the world's largest bedding component research and development facilities and is at the forefront of the latest innovations and advancements in comfort and support for the human form. To find out more information, as well as a list of Ultimate Hybrid mattresses, visit www.Ultimate-Hybrid.com. For more information about Leggett & Platt, visit Leggett.com.